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Mrs Ashton's Thought for the Term

Posted on: 13/11/2020

Connecting & CommunicatingCommunicating and connecting

‘It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated.’
Martin Luther King Jr.

The glittering frost is still dusting the ground when we start setting up for my daughter’s ballet lesson. No longer a short drive to the studio, but a rushed battle with a tangle of cables and frantic tilting of webcams: another change to our ‘normal’ with a move to virtual lessons during lockdown. Frustrated, I wonder whether it's worth it. Alone in our living room it would be easy to opt out and wait for a return to normality...

Seconds, later a gallery of galloping girls in red satin flicker into view and with every emerging window my daughter's smile unfurls further.

She is aglow.

As she dances and chats, waving and giggling with her friends, it is clear what this connection buys her.

It is - after all - the same gift that we have all enjoyed at DGS since September. The chance to reconnect with students and enjoy the immediate rewards of a smile exchanged, opinion debated, and knowledge shared. Students and teachers alike have returned focused and buoyant: grateful for the routine and community that school affords us. And although beyond our school walls much of our communication has again become virtual, what matters is seizing the chance to connect, whether that be in person or via video link. It is when we connect that we feel truly seen.

In a quotation familiar to year 11, the titular character in the play ‘An Inspector Calls’ says it best when he reminds a stubbornly inward-looking Biring family that ‘we don’t live alone. We are members of one body.’

Despite the challenges that 2020 poses there is clear benefit to creating presence even in absence and remembering how much we gain from reaching out, letting in and opening up




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